I had the same problem last year and part of this year. We replaced lots of things but I believe the core problem for us turned out to be the valve that mounts right on the cylinder itself. It's a pressure lock, and it had failed as our auger could actually move when the engine was off (IE one could push the auger and move it). You might try parking on a bit of a hill so that the auger tends to retract on its own. Then try turning off the key. Sometimes our auger would stop in its tracks, other times it would keep moving, which was clear evidence of the valve being the culprit for us.
As far as I know the only sensor is a proximity sensor near the cradle that detects when the auger is folded in. Other than that, there is no other sensor that I know of.
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